July 6, 1993
Dear Mr. Buckley,
Your letter of June 29, 1993 gives me credit where the credit belongs to others. I am afraid that I must one day be considered at least one of the most prolific plagiarizers of these times if not in history; for I am not aware of having said anything original. The idea of tyrants being complete idiots comes from the sages, who oppose tyrants with Wisdom:
Psalm 37.6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday;
Psalm 37.30 The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment;
Zohar. Then Human beings will perceive wondrous, precious Wisdom never known by them before; all these are destined to alight on King Messiah so that He may judge the world;
Zohar..But the mirror that shines, which is concealed--this is described as knowing. As it is written: I was not known...and Wisdom gives life to those who have it. (Eccl. 76.12).
Since Satan represents evil, he is not good; since he represents jealousy, he is not charitable; since he represents liars he is not Truth; since he hides the Truth he is not understanding; and without understanding there is no Wisdom. How anyone can surmise that Satan is not stupid is a mystery.
Faith in God depends upon discernment between Satan and Good. Your discernment resting on Psalm 121.3 (Thy foot shall not be moved; / thy keeper will never slumber) brought up the issue that God himself rests His truth, asking you to buy into his program, on the evidence of his works. Unlike some car salesmen who ask you to have faith in the product they are about to sell you, God provides assurance (truth): and you shall know, when such and such comes to pass. [as in Ezekiel 38.23]. This contrasts with Satan's revelations between himself and God in the Book of Enoch (St. Jude referred to this book):
Enoch 45.7 But Satan, the hater of all good, thought within himself: whereas God has promised salvation to Adam by covenant, and that He would deliver him out of all the hardships that have befallen him--but has not promised me by covenant, and will not deliver me out of my hardships; nay, since he has promised him that He should make him and his seed dwell in the kingdom in which I once was--I will kill Adam
45.8 The earth shall be rid of him; and shall be left to me alone; so that when he is dead he may not have any seed left to inherit the kingdom that shall remain my own realm; God will then be in want of me, and He will restore me to it with my hosts.
47.1 But when Adam came out and saw his hideous figure, he was afraid of him, and said, Who art thou? [then answering Adam Satan later said:]
47.5 Thinkest thou, that when I have spoken to one about anything, I shall ever bring it to him or fulfill my word? Not so. For I myself have never even thought of obtaining what I asked.
The defense against Satan in God's Plan focused upon the Light of the Watchman who He would set upon the walls. Thus we followed your lead and traversed to Isaiah 21.11, "Watchman what of the night?" to which the answer was, First comes the morning, then the night, come, enquire ! Following this I added the comment of light coming across the mountains, precept upon precept (Isaiah 28.9-12), as the prophets, which brings us to Psalm 37.6 above and:
Psalm 36.6 Thy righteousness is as the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep..
This shunts us to the Song of the Pearls, from which I composed Against Leviathan (against the monster guarding truth hidden in the deep).
The old timers once thought of the devil as a dashing, witty fellow but soon found out otherwise, as with Adam and Eve, until they saw through his disguises--see the Apocryphal Books of Adam and Eve and Enoch--then the generation of Noah (except his immediate family), and the followers of Nimrod who built the Tower of Babel. Since the confusion of those days until now most of the rabbis agreed that the devil himself cannot be a dashing and witty fellow but rather lethargic and stupid. Something like our government, over whom a mob and their King of Pride rules.
The only combat against tyrants in any case is Truth. Your observation of putting a note warning of idiots on every columnist's shaving mirror is well noted.
If you can follow the connection that a mirror is a robe:
Genesis Rabbah XCVIII:ix 1.J: He washes his garments in wine: for He will link together words of Torah
then you might like the the Song of the Pearl, which we placed at the end of this letter.
How quickly you dove into our channel of wisdom! I only lament there aren't others willing to explore the same.
Since you brought up the idea of putting messages on Columnist's Mirrors, I am enclosing another Small Book which pertains to your threat to embarrass the damn fools every morning when they shave.
Recognizing the fact that most people know the devil as a dashing, witty fellow, I was concerned that someone might mistake me for him--because of the biting nature of my works (or at least they might accuse me of being some reincarnation of Spiteful Timon, of which I am the opposite)--so to avert any speculations in any event I thought to put my works in unadvertised, plain paper wrappers. This hasn't worked out well monetarily, I confess, since most people are affected: by appearances, fancy covers, and fancy hair cuts, and feel cheated by unobtrusive things. Humility was never an attractive behavior to the devil. Remember Satan was thrown out of Heaven because he thought to be equal to God?
I learned long ago that the first step towards the door of wisdom is humility; and in heaven that step is well worn, of which the sages have well testified. To get there one must be prepared to move in support of truth, no matter how humbling of an experience it can be (and usually is).
After having shown The Old Man of the Sea your letter, the question of Truth came up again. My thesis in Against Leviathan placed a capital "T" on truth, as The Old Man of the Sea put it, and he queried me on my diacritical treatment of the idea. I explained to him that my objective with you is to get you to move towards presenting the Truth of what is going on behind the closed doors and mouths of our Financial Wizards. See no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil that sort of thing though the wizards running our affairs have their hands over their eyes, mouths, and ears like the proverbial monkeys, I hope to illustrate how easily their fraud may be exposed: that they wallow up to their necks in evil. We seek someone who is willing to step away from that crowd and save us who have been condemned to the sewers they created. We call forth the Truth. You know: the truth will set us free; that sort of thing.
Since you brought an assessment of the devil into the conversation, would it be too poignant of a closing to inquire whether the Iranians and Arabs were following the right track, thinking that our recent American government is Satan? After all those who have been leading this country seem to fit all the criteria of your letter. I am comforted that you are now thinking about putting messages on certain mirrors and have moved on from having filled up the Atlantic Ocean with your lucid Champagne messages against evil. May I suggest swabbing the mirrors of those listed on page 32 of the enclosed?
Remembering that Wisdom gives life to those who have it and enchanted by your move in any event, I remain,
When I was a little child
living in my kingdom,
in my father's house,
happy in the glories and riches of my
family that nurtured me,
my parents gave me provisions
and sent me forth
from our home in the East.
From their treasure house
they made up a bundle for me.
It was big though light so I might carry it alone;
it held gold from the House of the Highest Ones,
the silver of Solomon,
rubies of India and opals from the land of Bashan;
and they girded me with adamant,
with which I crushed iron.
They took off my bright robe of glory,
which they had made for me out of love,
and took away my purple toga,
which was woven to fit my stature.
They made a covenant with me,
and wrote it in my heart,
so I would not forget:
When you go down into Egypt
And bring back the One Pearl,
which lies in the middle of the sea,
and is guarded by the snorting serpent,
you will again put on your robe of glory
and your toga over it,
and with your brother, our next in rank,
you will be heir in our kingdom.
So I went straight to Egypt
and settled at an inn close by the Serpent,
which guarded the Pearl.
When he fell asleep,
I planned to take the Pearl away from him.
And so to not arouse suspicion,
I put on the robes of the Egyptians
and appeared unto them as another of them:
who is poor and unclean.
They took me into their confidence
and soon, tempting me beyond temptation,
led me into their places of enjoyment.
Soon I forgot about my father and my mother,
and I forgot about the One Pearl
which they had sent me to get.
Through the heaviness of the Egyptian food,
one evening I fell asleep;
and my father and mother, seeing this,
thought to send me a letter.
All at the Table of my father the King composed the letter
and quickly dispatched it,
by way of the King's messenger--
by the wings of an eagle--
to my attention.
It reminded me that I was the son of Kings
and I must remember the Pearl.
I awoke hearing the words of this letter
and thought straightaway
to secure the Pearl from the Dragon.
I put on the robe my father had given me
which to the Dragon appeared as a mirror.
And the robe appeared to speak:
by naming the name of my Father over him,
and the name of the next in rank,
and of my Mother, the Queen of the East,
I broke down the gates of Iron,
and I seized the Pearl
and turned to carry it to the Father.
Thus by confusion
the Dragon lost the Pearl beneath its throne,
and I was able to bring it up from the
depths of the sea.
This is the Song of the Pearl.
July 25, 1993
Dear Mr. Buckley,
I haven't given you time to answer me, but knowing the difficulty of the issues we raised, I thought I could offer some suggestions on how to cope with our desire: as we do not wish to weary you. I hope you don't mind this two column format [the original books were two column format; ed. note], in which it is easier for me to work.
Maybe I can help you. When I mention our discussion to others, the same difficulty which seems to be dragging upon you, as concerning the question, Captain, oughtn't we to tell the passengers? comes to the fore.
A friend, who is a flight attendant, put the matter of Against Leviathan into perspective. She said that the Airlines have an unwritten procedure which is called the "Ten minute down and dirty." When a plane is in trouble the flight attendants are first to know and obviously are the first to pose the question of telling the passengers about the difficulty of the ship and its survival. The rule is: we will continue circling the airport and ten minutes before we will tell them. After that it is down and dirty...
I hope this is not what other aristocrats and our leaders are planning.
I know I could not have confused you with our language: which weaves simple symbols into your language re: the idea of washing one's robes in the wine of the Torah which is as a mirror most confusing to Leviathan ; thus the idea that a sage (who washes his garments in God's Wisdom) is at best a mirror; and ultimately the focus of God's Mirror is on reflecting the Truth, following the idea that there is nothing new under the sun, and though truth be hidden in the deep it will be revealed, brought up and carried across the mountains, who are the prophets, as a Great Light: as the light of the sun and even seven suns. Following this we can perceive that a small candle can be an extraordinary light in a Dark Chamber. This follows the idea that God breeds fools to bring forth Wisdom, or creates darkness to bring forth the Truth. The Last Days, as you know, are an event of Great Darkness (see Habbakuk). So even the smallest light of Truth in those days brings forth a terrible tribulation for those who struggle with the Truth. Against Leviathan knows this.
Those who struggle with the Truth are like a fish on a line. They cannot escape; so we must wait for them, until they become weary. The argument in Against Leviathan focuses on the reality that you know the Truth, having been baptized as it were in Light, and concerning some important matters we feel that you are obliged to reveal the Truth so that all can be bathed in the Light. Thus, we addressed you as a Watchman who resides upon the walls, alert, ready and quick to report assaults against our fortress (or ark, if you prefer) of Truth.
Because Truth is hidden in the deep, sometimes it is necessary to fish for truth bearers: those who can bring it up. In the Song of the Pearl one is given the responsibility to dive into the deep himself to bring up the One Pearl, by which cause others who bear the Truth may gather around him: as it is said, wherever I am ye shall be also.
Fishing for Truth leads us to the image that God fishes for Truth Bearers [using as bait, as it were, Messiahs ]. Truth Bearers are attracted to the bait. A simple idea! Behind the Truth Bearers, or shepherds, springs the flock.
Referring to our syllogisms on Charon's Hammer used in The Second Coming of the American Revolution, in like manner God asks:
Jeremiah 23.28..let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat?..
23.29 Is not my Word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?
As the hammer splits the rock into many splinters, so will a scriptural verse yield many meanings [Sanhedrin 34A].
We are dealing with a tough issue
Thus, we said in The Second Coming of the American Revolution, except for the hammer yet above the rocks, the heights from which to answer may seem many: beware: over all higher causes waits the hardness of truth! This statement is directed at those who have assumed that the hammer splitting the rock [Word of God] into many pieces justifies distorting the message of the Word. The Truth upon which we weave is like a Tapestry. It can have many different threads, and they may be woven and seen from many views, but the picture on the Tapestry never changes, only expands one's knowledge (as when one puts leaven into bread dough). The scene at hand is the Kingdom of God which is a Kingdom founded upon Truth. An ever expanding knowledge but always the same. Truth is like a drop of water, then in streams running into the sea, which can never fill it up; and yet, just one small taste of water provides evidence of the nature of the sea. Thus, all Truth is easy to tell, and those who hide it are but thieves crawling in dark places thinking no one will see them or they will be caught.
The Spirit of Truth , as you know, is everlasting and long suffering, something after the manner of a fisherman.
When the Spirit is cast, the burden is easy, as it is said, my yoke is easy; (using another simile, of a shepherd); but because of the flesh the weight is heavy, dragging upon the soul, and causes one to pull every which way on the line. It is described as a war between the Spirit and the flesh [flesh: sic. your soul].
Origen, commenting on the Apostle Paul's insights on the war of the Spirit against the Flesh put it this way:
Origen, First Principles, Book III.4.4..let us first see what is the nature of the passions of the mind to which we are subject whenever we feel within us that we are being dragged in one direction and another, when a conflict of thoughts arises in our heart and certain images are suggested to us which incline us now this way and now that and by which we stand at one time reproved and at another time self-approved
Paul's argument viewed the idea of abolishing the Torah, substituting in its place Paul's Gospel (re: Romans 2.15,16). Paul saw men struggling against the Will of the Spirit and tried to reconcile this conflict. Jesus simply said "give up and follow me for my yoke is easy". St. James followed this lead, saying that friendship with the world is enmity with God [James 4.4]. This brings us to a Word of Truth which ought to be a guide to you:
Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light [Matthew 11.28-30].
Why people struggle with the Truth is a mystery, but of those whose spirit is joined to God we know not of any struggle. Following your reference to Psalm 121.3 we find:
Isaiah 50.7 for the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.
50.8 He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? Let us stand together: who is mine adversary? Let him come near to me.
For those who prefer to walk in the light of their own fire, Isaiah goes on to say, ye shall lie down in sorrow.
There simply is no escape for those who struggle with the Truth. In another place we are told that one cannot hide from it [sic. God] or His Sword [re: Rev. 19.11-16; see also Isaiah 49.2].
Jeremiah 16.16 Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.
Isaiah 2.12 For the day of the Lord of Hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and on every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low:
2.17 And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.
2.18 ..the idols he shall utterly abolish.
2.19 And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the Lord and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.
2.20 In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats;
2.21 To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the Lord and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.
25.35..and the shepherds shall have no way to flee, nor the principal of the flock to escape..
Again, those struggling on the line are asked, wherefore sighest thou? [Ezekiel 21.7] and:
Jeremiah 30.6 Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? Wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?
One cannot escape God; and He says further of those condemned to Hell they cannot climb out; if they reach for Heaven they will fall back; and while ye look for light, He turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness [Jeremiah 13.14].
The Struggle in Against Leviathan and its supporting works is this kind of struggle. It simply asks the faithful to tell the Truth about a matter which is bringing great travail into the world. It is painful, we know, but easy once born.
As said and apparently perceived by you, many lives are at stake, and we know you are not the sort of fellow who would break and run under the circumstances, carrying such a fine child in your womb.
By the way, the Distributor, Fine Print, phoned me 7-23-93, saying they plan to promote The Second Coming of the American Revolution [I subsequently, after doing a small test in the Bay area to see if the books would sell, decided not to put the books on the market]. Since it is chained to Against Leviathan, etc. should anyone perceive what the Second Coming means and attract to it, no doubt you will become famous for something you may not have given much thought to.
I appreciate your patience with me and look forward to continuing our conversation, which seems to be boiling down to the question you posed concerning the obligations of government [and its leaders]. According to our Constitution we must consider first providing for the common welfare ( all who are on our ship). This, following our International Agreements, must honor the Dignity of Man and, as indicated in What Price Justice, the provision in the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) which [with others] says:
..recognizing that, in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ideal of free human beings enjoying civil and political freedom and freedom from fear and want can only be achieved if conditions are created whereby everyone may enjoy his civil and political rights, as well as his economic, social and cultural rights..
Our international covenants alone prove the need to tell the Truth which can save not only multitudes of our own people but many others who depend upon the United States' leadership and resources. The Preamble of our Constitution says all: to provide a more perfect union and:
establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity..
This was written in a context expressed in our Declaration of Independence which emphasized:
..that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness...when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.
We argued in Against Leviathan and The Second Coming of the American Revolution that our nation is founded upon Truth. That Truth recognized that fundamental to our security as a people was the rule of the people, always keeping in mind the caution to be wary of factions or, as Polybius described it, Mob Rule. We concluded that our Ship of State is in danger of sinking because the Mob has taken over and abandoned those principles noted above.
And we know that you are pledged to all the principles of this letter. We think it will be a relief for you to aid the people of these United States by telling them the Truth of the state of their nation as you have seen it. Because this is a democracy founded upon the general will of the people, we are confident that the people will be able to handle any truth you tell them.
The burden I laid upon you--I know it seems heavy. I have tested others with our conversation and many people cringe at the idea of telling America about the waters which are bringing down our Ship of State and the Western World with it. They cringe, perceiving the vistas we have discussed, because they are afraid to lose what they have. But they are more horrified when I tell them about the Ten minute down and dirty rule.
We have mixed scriptures with discussions of law concerning remedies against a beastly thing which has endangered the future of these United States. The nature of the beast is as a tyrant or despot in the simplest structure of the idea, and its abuses are a far greater list and more horrifying than those petty abuses of King George III listed in our Declaration of Independence. According to the foundations of our scriptures and our law, keeping in mind:
whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government..[as] shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness..
we can only conclude that to avert disaster and ease the burden upon us all one must answer the cast of this Spirit.
Behold me, I pray: do I fear requesting the truth? (as I have requested of you?) or am I afraid, having requested it, to hold it? or to put it where everyone can see it?
Those who have been false to these ideals generally know it and are the greatest opposition to the Truth. But you can count on this, that there is nothing to fear* from the Truth. Have you not read Psalm 46?
Psalm46.1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
46.2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea...
One cannot separate the word, God, from the word, Truth; nor the soul of a righteous man, once bathed in the waters of God's Wisdom, from the Spirit of Truth. It is no wonder the rabbis said (we restore the simile of the drop of water being the same as of the sea):
The soul of a righteous man is balanced against the whole world [Bavli, LLXXXXX1D].
By weighing a righteous man we can bear judgment to the world. To bring forth judgment we begin with the Truth. We know we are corresponding with a righteous man and hope that through our communication we can shed some light upon a weary world. Hoping you agree and aren't sorry you answered me, I remain,
Mr. Buckley's answer to our ninth appeal
August 19, 1993
Granting much that you say, what to do about it, and how, remain prudential calls.
Wm. F. Buckley Jr.
Mr. Buckley's answer to our tenth appeal
August 30, 1993
No, if you begin it then it is your responsibility to keep it balanced and focussed. If I undertook itit would be at the unjust expense of commitments I've already made, obligations I've already undertaken. But I'm glad you let me know about it.
Wm. F. Buckley Jr.
August 28, 1993
Dear Mr. Buckley,
I just received your letter of 2 Elul [August 19, 1993]. Your's is the second confession I received recently (the season seems to be coming around again, I perceive, though confessions are not the works which I seek). The other was from The Old Man of the Sea who confessed that he had been a Pastor in South America, among many other credentials too long to list here, but including an Economic's professorship at UC Berkeley and a long stint as a UN Economics Advisor to nations in Africa and South and Central America.
In any case, your answer was not unexpected. It is like the answer the rich man gave to Jesus, when he would walk with him but needed to attend to his estate first. I, God forbid, am not Jesus: He was looking for righteous followers; I seek righteous leaders. Ten makes a curia, according to the tale of Lot, which is the other instance where ten righteous men could not be found.
But for the rock upon which I draw my assurance--though meek--being long suffering, the call to await you to regain your strength [faith] seems to apply.
I enjoy conversing with you, as we agree on so many things, and might find another path upon which to continue our discussion; but alas all issues pale and are so much dribble compared to the one we course. Men have been waiting a long time to hear it!
The consequences of faith involve long term [eternal] commitments, which you claim to have made; to which way one is continually tested to forgo short term desires in favor of embracing the long term needs of justice, equality, and liberty, which are of God. You and I have been conversing before St. Peter's Gate, and no matter your desires or mine, we each are there. As painful as it seems, one cannot defer that entry, nor hide or go away from it, nor can one can delay the way. We call it entering the Gate of Righteousness. There is no other way; and for those who believe in God, seeking another way is the same as hiding in the rocks and the holes in the earth hoping to avoid His judgment. One cannot hide from Him or His Judgment, which is Truth.
I have been attempting to move you to do good which you otherwise might not do.[see note * page 63] For me it is painful, because I know you as a righteous man; as for those against whom I am opposed, for me it could even result in the expense of my feeble life. But it's no sacrifice at all. This is the Prudential Gate and the one I have stepped in and out of and many have entered before me and still awaits generations to come.
Nevertheless, the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard. And the words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools [Eccl. 9.16,17]. How easy it is for me to show you the truth in this.
Mon foulard pour la dame qui est /la à côté...
Your Obedient Servant,
September 6, 1993
Dear Mr. Buckley,
You are quite right in your comment of August 30, 1993, that relative to the remedies I proposed concerning the Trial of a President, it is my responsibility to keep it balanced and focused. Any failures concerning this aspect of our conversation are upon me. Should I, for instance, be the only one who attempts to save our [doomed] ship and its passengers, then the names of all those who suffer and die as a result of my failure are upon me. I have never shirked from this responsibility; and I am sorry that I have mislaid my intentions in this regard. If you can bear the more my prolix I shall attempt to explain my responsibility as I see it.
Our conversation began, as I recall, when I asked you to correct an error in your December 1992 Firing Line debate Program which had to do with the state of the US economy. The error was an error of considerable magnitude and centered on the exact scope of the US debt and its present interest payment of some 300 Billion dollars per year. Knowing those who carry the torch of wisdom bear with it responsibility, I hoped that you might assist in correcting the error [of misinformation] which the Reagan-Bush Estate originated. I did not deem you responsible for the error but in error for continuing, or, as a better term may apply, feeding upon it*.
I recognized from the beginning that the correction of the Firing Line debate error involved those matters implicated in the thesis of a Trial of a President. I knew from the beginning that I was asking you to string up a friend and those associated with him, not excluding, I presumed, the obligations and commitments you've already undertaken.
It has not been my intention to put any untoward pressure on you, but rather I saw a worthy conversation on ethics between a rich man and a poor man taking place, through which perhaps some refreshing light might be offered to our dimly lit world. That light would save lives.
In as much as we agree on most things, and since you have the wherewithal and resources to produce change more effectively than I, I had hoped to persuade you to take the lead in the matter of the simple correction previously mentioned.
Just as you have obligations and commitments, so have I. I, for instance, quoted a passage from Ecclesiastes 9.16,17, saying how easy it would be for me to demonstrate to you this truth: the poor man's wisdom is despised, and not heard, and the words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools. The fool of the moment, I think we can agree, is President Clinton.
Following this is the criteria that the Servant of Salvation, being of quick understanding (Isaiah 11.3) shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street (Isaiah 42.2). Since Jesus mentioned this [Matthew 12.18], I thought it worthwhile to explore the efficacy of this precept. Obedience to this commitment limits me somewhat, and I thought perhaps I could facilitate it by seeking ten righteous leaders who might bring forth some of the wisdom desired by Ecclesiastes. Being committed to this paradigm, the resources of leaders who are willing to stand up for some essential truths would apply. These Truths, as The Old Man of the Sea aptly pointed out in reviewing your letter, are eminent domain [When justices steps forward she tends to place such errors on one side of the scale and, in recompense, the House of the transgressors up to the fourth generation on the other] and not proprietary to me alone. The quorum of ten always maintained by the rabbis to assure that the wrath of Sodom does not reoccur follows this thesis.
The paradigm at hand is whether the rich leader and the poor man can work together for the sake of Salvation. As I stated, I have little to lose and only my life to offer. The hardship on you is far greater, I perceive, but a worthy lesson in Civics good government, of the people, for the people, and by the people no doubt.
I am flattered that you would anoint me the leader of such a grave cause, though I was myself not intending to be a leader and only seeking leaders. I find myself kinda sorta as in the issue of the Plowman, where Piers the Plowman is selected midst the crowd to be the savior of the people. The people in that story He invited to come into his field and work. A few took him up on his offer, but most of them tired working with him and wandered off, leaving him alone in the field to work. This is what Gandhi experienced when he thought to raise the Untouchables to resist the oppression upon them. I learned rather quickly that the poor chained to the parking meters in our streets are bound no less than the Untouchables or earlier the slaves with their chains and halters who were shipped from Africa to America; and this observation on my own account confirmed Gandhi's thesis, that unless leaders raise up to defend the oppressed, the oppressed will never break the chains which bind them. In theological terms this is called raising up shepherds. In our day the shepherds are feeding upon the poor rather than feeding them. Both pastors and congressmen have had their hands in the till and not on the tiller. Our leaders are so preoccupied with their hands in the till they cannot take time to deal with any form of justice. I saw you apart from these...
Leaving me alone to deal with the matter brings to mind the case of the Jews standing around on the battlefield facing the Philistines, looking for the weakest among them to save them. It's a shame that we would again entertain such a model of salvation.
Another case which comes to mind, following this thesis, is that involving Moses, with whom I can most sympathize.
This weekend I visited my 74 year old mother and her husband ... and showed them your letter. They have been following our argument (as much as they could bear my conversations on the matter) and, after reading your letter, they agreed with you, that the remedy I had proposed is my responsibility and mine alone.
Servants of Salvation, of course, know this; it comes with the cup as it were. It brings to mind not only Socrates' last words but Jesus' and many others who know that though they may be alone they must carry the Truth burdened upon their shoulders. Moses was shown this in no uncertain terms when JHVH told him to return to Egypt and gather my people back to the Promised Land. Moses stammered in answer to JHVH's demand, "but the people will not believe me; besides, whom shall I say sent me?" These are my sentiments exactly; the people will believe you but not me.
In this parable Moses was given the facility to carry out the miracle of the ingathering of the exiles despite his meek nature and stammering lips.
I have not been given such facilities, nor sought them, to my knowledge, and seem to own only the gift of the pen. As weak as it is and given the responsibility you have laid back upon me, it seems that many lives may again depend upon the efficacy of the weakest man [in Jerusalem] who characteristically was one with a pen.
Another instance brings to mind an ancestor, Zerubbabel, who was born in Babylon and showed Cyrus the Great some precepts from Isaiah and convinced him to restore the Jews to Jerusalem and repair the breaches in its walls. Repairer of the Breach he was called; the breach you have left me to repair seems a bit larger and, unlike Zerubbabel's mission, without funds.
The Old Man of the Sea was not overly pleased with your answer, for he respects you as I find you as well as a man of logic, and "what you have laid upon me is illogical," he said, though no doubt quite in line with some Biblical imperatives, between man and his God. Had God asked you to do what I asked, the imperative would not be escaped; but since I am a man and a poor man at that the imperative can be escaped.
But when we sailors escape the terrors of the deep we share a common bond, and always count our blessings when we reach home port safely.
My journey was in search of leaders, and as shown in Philistia Triumph Thou because of me, I left few stones unturned. As I anticipated in Against Leviathan, I am alone midst the foam and the waves tossed up by Leviathan's unmerciful Pride. Nevertheless, I count our conversation on the matter a blessing, since you answered me where many in high stations would not, and am not wholly alone because of it; and continuing this worthy cause I remain,
Mr. Buckley's answer to our eleventh appeal
October 6, 1993
In my faith, righteousness right behavior good works is not the gate; it is a consequence, a fruit, of redemption. In practice, it ought to work out to much the same behavior; but it's worth preserving the distinction in the interest of understanding each other.
If I understand your reproach, you find me reluctant to blame the wealthy. It is true; I blame the statists, of all ranks and stations. But I've never hesitated to blame Lowell Weicker more than the working man who votes Democrat.
Happy new year.
Wm. F. Buckley Jr.
October 23, 1993
Dear Mr. Buckley,
It is strange how politics and religion commingle. Thanks for your good wishes towards our new year.
My last letter, with the New Year in mind and being of the Day of Judgment, or Atonement however you wish to put it relied upon Law as the basis of its position with you and others in general. The basis of my judgment, to the extent that I may have reproached you, has nothing to do with the wealthy or any particular person's station.
It began after this manner: God, in the Spirit of Redemption, called Moses to redeem My People, the Children of Israel, from their persecution in Egypt. This judgment was in answer to a prophesy that they would be redeemed from servitude in Egypt after 400 years. So the word Redemption not only includes a judgment but also the delivery on a Prior Commitment made by JHVH to the Children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In this case the judgment was without respect to persons and included all of the Children of Israel; extending through them to the nations of the world. Knowing the subsequent events in the Exodus, I can say that had I been Moses I might have been tempted to be more selective and left some of the "redeemed" behind. But Judgment does not work that way. When it steps forward to defend or redeem the lost and the oppressed, it gathers all of them into its wings, and in the proscenium of our saga we witnessed the redemption of a multitude, of some 600,000 men and their families. On the opposite side of that blessing of redemption was a curse which [with like indifference to persons] gathered ten times the number of the Exodus into the diaspora of 70 A.D. and the pit.
In your faith you claim redemption based upon the prior ransom for your life given by Jesus the Messiah. To claim that ransom and become a liberated member of God's Kingdom all you need do, as Jesus said, is to follow him and be perfect as God, the Father.
The perfection of God is His Desire to set the captives free: to fend off the oppression of the poor and to relieve the sighing of the needy (Psalm 12.5). That is the entire message of the Bible which is the same message I carried to you-- hoping that you might be able to lend a helping hand beyond that which you have already extended towards those bound on our streets next to parking meters.
Righteousness is not only the fruit of redemption, but also the cause: many are redeemed-- deserving or not-- by the Grace of God, following the example of Exodus. Again, that redemption through God's Grace was not arbitrary but given in fulfillment of a Promise. And here we get to the root of the matter, because the Promise given in respect to Redemption was a Good Work of God against the proviso that it would seed Good Works in Man, or Righteousness. This is described in the Gospel of Thomas. Jesus said that the Kingdom of Heaven is like a woman who walked down a road with a sack of seed on her back. The sack had a hole in it, and it was empty when she arrived home.
For my part, I view things as they are, without regard to place or person; my country is the world, and my religion is to do good. Thomas Paine said this; I thought it should be inserted here as it reflects my sentiments exactly. If I have reproached you to the end that you produce some good you might not otherwise have planned [sic. as the woman with the sack], then my work has not been for nought, and the good I have etched out of you can be counted to my account. This is God's point of view on the matter as well; I dwell here upon the mountains [prophets] who before me were far more direct in casting out reproaches.
History shows that those who received the most reproaches over time were the wealthy. Were an estimation to be made of the charge of the aristocracy to a nation, said Thomas Paine, it will be found nearly equal to that of supporting the poor. Measure it yourself: you can see the extent the wealthy remain blameworthy as a group or class. For this cause they need to be reminded from time to time to do good.
When Thomas Paine wrote The Rights of Man he placed his argument on the defense of the poor and complained of the mass of wretchedness, of the aged who were condemned to begging in the streets, the youth who lacked instruction in righteous conduct--relying only upon that One Law of Hell: it's every man for himself and the extraordinary number of persecutions of the poor. In Thomas Paine's day, as is true now, instead of spending a nation's resources to free the masses from their despair, tyrants (I think we are being too kind to refer to such leaders as statists) spent the wealth of their nation on themselves: lavished upon kings, upon courts, upon hirelings, impostors, and prostitutes; and even the poor themselves, with all their wants upon them, are compelled to support the fraud that oppresses them. Thomas Paine's judgment here stated certainly indicts the USA today.
Politics notwithstanding, I appreciate your fairness in blaming equally Lowell Weicker and the working man who votes Democrat. But I differ from you here, because I blame not men but the form of their governments. We can again note Thomas Paine's observation here that wherever the forms in any government are bad, it is a certain indication that the principles are bad also. This is just another way of saying that a people tend to resemble their leaders. Again, I say, I saw you apart from these and said that I believe you to be a righteous man and a leader. You allowed my criteria: a righteous man is known for his right behavior good works. If you wish to be perfect in Good Works you must defend the poor. Jesus made himself clear on this matter. My reproach upon you was not because you were reluctant to blame the wealthy, but you were reluctant to expose evil works which you saw. The evil against which we have been conversing is a cancer which is destroying our guilt laden people. Though they know guilt, and are thereby judged, they do nothing about it.
Recalling a statement you made recently concerning our guilty nation on a Firing Line debate, I know that you recognize that guilt is the fruit of judgment. And judgment always works after this manner: you judge yourself. This follows:
Isaiah 50.1..Behold for your iniquities you have sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away..[see The Bavli CCVII.H]
Job 34.33..He will recompense it, whether you refuse or whether you choose..[see The Bavli CCIV.D]
Ezekiel 16.49..Behold, this was the iniquity of your sister, Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and the needy [see The Bavli CC.G]
Deuteronomy 32.39 Neither is there any one who can deliver out of my hand..[see The Bavli CLXXXVII.A]
When you argued in your defense that Prudential calls with regard to your need to defer defending the poor to another, I replied that if you are a follower of Jesus you cannot serve Mammon and Jesus at the same time. One cannot be saved in Jesus without following Him. I observed Mammon pulling you away from the need to expose the truth about our National Budget and the lies that are daily being perpetrated with reference to it. The lies of which I speak include distortions of this nation's liabilities and the outright falsification of the 1993 Budget Summary Table of Income and Outlays (Balance Sheet) signed by President Bush. Concerning the wealthy, it so happens that those who will suffer the most with the continuation of these lies and corrupt practices from the Reagan-Bush Estate are our aristocracy. The course chosen by our leaders to supply this democracy with misinformation on our National Debt eventually falls in the laps of the wealthy, since it is they who hold the bulk of the paper on the debt. To keep them happy a pernicious covenant was arranged between our leaders and their creditors, so to depress interest rates. The suppression of interest rates to mitigate the frightening interest on our National Debt in turn forces more capital out of our economy into the stock market where higher gains can be realized. Thomas Paine's comments on the bankrupt government of England is a lesson to be noted here, because greed feeds on itself, (as the particulars on the event in France two hundred years ago apply also to our situation, as noted in The Second Coming of the American Revolution).
I sympathize with you to the extent that I have some savings which belong to my daughter, but I am willing to invest them in the same doomed stocks which you hold. I'll join you in the risk. For it is a truth that the Stock Market must collapse, as there is no one or no thing which is holding it up except those gambling their fortunes on the come line. I can show you more lucrative fields.
Your trust is misplaced. Today we have a body of men who lead this nation and hold themselves accountable to nobody. Thomas Paine said of such people that such men ought not to be trusted by anybody. I perceive that you have put your trust in them anyway. This we contrast with your article of faith which asks you to put your trust in the God of Truth before all other things. Faith, Trust, Grace these are the components of Truth. It is because of your faith (its Greek form is a verb) that you receive Grace, i.e., redemption in the eyes of the Lord.
Our Law which I have asked you to defend is based upon a Written Word [see The Bavli CXC.D--..'the Torah, which is given through the alphabet']. Concerning its politicized form, Thomas Paine said, a constitution is not a thing in name only, but in fact. It has not an ideal, but a real existence; and wherever it cannot be produced in a visible form, there is none.
What an extraordinary thought, I say! A Law cannot exist without a visible form. Concerning your faith, when Jesus asked you to eat bread with him, which is as his body, and drink wine in memory of his blood which he has given, He used an old Jewish metaphor which we now may illustrate:
The Bavli CCXLIV.J..and eating bread is a metaphor for 'who learned of my teaching'.
Being a Catholic I know you must take communion [sic. it's your law]; and I know I can presume that when you take communion you demonstrate that you have learned of these teachings of Jesus which I have called into remembrance.
Just as you produce a visible form of your faith--by which token I have assumed you to be a righteous man--likewise must it be true that for you to be a patriot upholding our Constitution you are required now and then to produce a visible form of your allegiance. Since our Body of Law is based upon Liberty and Justice for all without respect to persons it is highly dependent upon leaders stepping forward to assure that the Body Politic is being fed the truth. There is much discussion these days as to when someone must step forward to aid his fellow man (or in the case in our hands the survival of the democracy and its people upon which we stand). When all is said and done, you judge yourself; and usually that happens when someone casts a light your way and you shrink to hide your works from the light.
Self-judgment occurs after this manner (I must take the liberty of cannibalizing a previous parable to illustrate the effect. The substance of this parable, whose name I have changed for effect appeared in a National Quarterly Magazine and was told to me by a man sitting next to me on the plane on a recent trip to North Carolina):
The Revenge of Sandhu
Sandhu was wandering atop the Himalayas with only rags covering his obviously starving frame. A man met him and wondered whether he ought to inquire to see whether he ought to help the wretched man. He looked at his watch, however, and noted that to climb up to the wretch would cause him to miss his connection to an important business matter below in the city and several millions of dollars hung on his decision. So he decided to be prudent and assumed that someone else will help the man [thus: so far its the Good Samaritan Story]. In like manner passed another who could have helped but didn't and so on down the mountain. Finally in this chain of events one asked another the following question:
Were you the first man?
The man who told me this story offered to send the article to me so that I could forward it on to you on the slim chance that you have not already seen it. The parable came up because I had been discussing with him the conversation you and I have been having --as concerning the precarious circumstances of our titanic Ship of State and the victims and flotsam now floating around it [sic. Against Leviathan ] and he posed the question whether we are our brother's keeper. To what extent must one do good? Having given thought to the parable I answered that you are liable for what you know.* Guilt and innocence are judged according to what you know; not what you do not know. In the parable the first man, seeing that the wretch ought to have been saved, regretted that he did not take the time to inquire. Thus, no one can escape judgement no more than anyone can hide from the Truth. Be this as it may, the man, now a party to our conversation, Against Leviathan, asked me to ask you:
Were you the first man?
The Old Man of the Sea and I have been discussing this perplexing issue of shedding light on how to do good. For my part Lawfulness and Goodness are one and the same. And I agree by your article of faith that the fruit of your redemption should be a reflection of righteousness. I referred to redemption as entering the Gates of Righteousness. Behind the Gates of Righteousness are the Mansions of Truth, which were prepared for your sake.
Just as the first man in our parable was prescient enough to do good, but didn't, and suffered the revenge of Sandhu (I speak of guilt!), so too are the wicked judged. It is knowledge which establishes guilt or innocence (we cannot blame ignorant acts; only leaders who permit them).
This is with reference to God's desire to save lives. I wrote you so to save a multitude. It is your knowledge upon which I thrive and depend in this regard. If I have reproached you it is because I love your wit and noted the refuge you sought in the name of the Lord. It is obvious to me that you are not among the Gentiles who forget God [Psalm 9.18]; therefore I am compelled to love you. If you can handle it, I am enclosing my conversation with The Old Man of the Sea, entitled Of Epicureans, Stoics & other ways to find good perhaps another illustration of the narrow gate we stand before and remain ever,
Mr. Buckley's answer to our thirteenth Appeal
November 17, 1993
Sorry. The redemptive work of God wrought salvation in man not by righteous works or at least not principally by righteous works but by faith. The works are only fruits, albeit fruits that within the communion of saints may yield yet more faith and the redemption of others.
I think the law of Hell is rather a perversion of that communion: that it is companionable to be damned in good company, and that it is unsociable to mention sin. The abusers of privilege affirm that gentlemen always owe their tailors; but the Lord hears the cry of the widow and the orphan.
To the extent that you're being a prophet, and mentioning that there are sins and injustices, you're doing the Lord's work.
Wm. F. Buckley Jr.
November 20, 1993
Dear Mr. Buckley,
In response to your letter of November 17, 1993 blessed by your confidence in my desire to do the Lord's Work I must say that I am not a prophet, for I was raised to tend cattle from my youth. This is another way of saying that I was not sent to prophet's school, as was so with many of the prophets. Yet, I stand firmly upon the prophets who, by the Grace of God, taught me from my formative years (as early as I can remember) until now.
By the way, who among the prophets of God (we exclude Paul who took exception to the prophets [sic. Jesus incl.]) taught you? It would be nice to know, as we ply this resurrected argument of faith versus works. I have searched the scriptures, and I cannot find the rock upon which you stand.
While we jibe one way and another on the matter, perhaps we can agree on the following precept from the Dead Sea Scrolls, Book of Hymns, which verifies my point of view:
Book of Hymns
For now am I come to know that no man is righteous with Thee.
For there is none can understand all Thy hidden things,
Nor answer Thy charge against him;
But all must needs wait upon thy goodness,
For Thou, in Thy lovingkindness wilt reveal to them Thy truth,
That they may come to know Thee;
And when Thy glory bursts upon them, they shall rejoice.
Only to the measure of each man's knowledge
And to the mead of his understanding
hast Thou given men access to Thee:
To serve Thee in their several domains,
Even as Thou hast assigned their roles,
But never to overstep Thy Word.
I'm still having trouble ascertaining which among the faithful ought to be redeemed, for I have seen many faithful men in my life but few good works. A lot of talk and no action as it were. In the mean time the suffering multitudes are being stacked upon our streets like cordwood, and I but avail the day of Sandhu's Revenge for all those who knew and did nought...
I am enclosing my last letter to The Old Man of the Sea should you bear tuning in which pertains to your comment regarding gentlemen and their garment makers. Wondering how to measure faithful men according to your teachings, and how to prod certain men to do a particular good work, and still flinching over the Nazi era, I remain,
December 12, 1993
Dear Mr. Buckley,
I know that I haven't given you sufficient time to answer my letter of November 20, 1993, but feel compelled nevertheless to forward you some of the books which I have been referencing which confirm my side of our argument. They are most handy as reference works; rather than read them from cover to cover as with other works, you may consult the strings of pearls they contain, as you see fit (re: my comment on "pearls" [sic. goads] in The Miracle of Zer Anpin, previously forwarded to you).
The books, for your information, are:
Some may see my string of scriptures as a chain. This book is the key to my chain. Sorry about the cover damage. It was damaged in printing during the 1989 San Francisco earthquake. This was a shock to me at the time--perhaps more to others around me-- because an earlier version of it I had written in Paris, France in reply to a comment made to me by Pastor Jahnes; and the day I mailed that work to her Chernoble blew. From that moment on I have felt that I am being chased by Wormwood and have since learned to sympathize with Jeremiah who had to live through the prophesies he wrote.
I was taking this to the printer and to pick up Hidden Pavilions the day of the earthquake. I was so shaken up the next day I amended the book with somewhat of an apology, like Jeremiah's Lamentations.
The sages in The Tapestry of One also agree upon the Golden Rule.
Paul had his Two Witnesses in Jesus and Rabbi Hillel in justification to separate the Gentile from the Law of Moses. All one needs is Two Witnesses, says the Law. I have not only these two but a host of others, as seen in part in The Tapestry of One . So I can help you answer me. The Golden Rule is your justification to not fall under the burden of the Law of Moses. But this does not relieve you of the Burden of the Prophets. For once a Curse is in place it cannot be removed without those under the curse reforming their works. Again, I say, your knowledge sets the criteria of judgment, and your works call forth the judgment. So you can hang your hat on the Golden Rule and do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Or as Jesus put it, love one another as I have loved you. A little charity and human compassion goes a long way and [see Peter] covers a multitude of sins...
I have put you at a disadvantage, and I mean you no harm. But I do have a rather large army behind me: of the prophets of Israel, including Jesus the Messiah and their host; the rabbis of the Oral Torah, of whom I adore Rabbi Judah the Prince and their host; Mohammed and his Koran and their host; the sages in The Tapestry of One and their host; plus a phalanx of historians and many philosophers too numerous to list, of whom I have a particular fondness for funny Lucian. So behind my sword--the thing I have used to hew your helm--I have gathered together a vast host whom you cannot beat. So you must capitulate, and I can show you a pleasant and painless way to do it.
I know my works are heavy and am indebted to you that you have burdened yourself with them. For apart from their sheer bulk they simply cannot be a pleasant thing to digest.
When I said I was not a prophet, I confirmed that I am a husbandman by nature, which is true, for I spent my youth around cattle and horses (my father gave me a pony when I was about five years old), and I spent much of my youth working on ranches, one of which was a dairy farm where I learned how to shepherd cattle. I learned quickly how much like people cattle are. The first rule I apprehended, among many, was to seek out a leader and goad it. The rest will follow. To scatter a herd, of course, you do the opposite: smite the shepherd and the sheep will scatter--this thesis also guided Jesus. I, of course, endeavour not to be that kind of shepherd (I hope), but worse, I fear, after the manner of the one mentioned in Zechariah 11, who feeds on the flesh of the fat and tears their claws in pieces, as I have been set to demonstrate.
When I said I was not a prophet I admit I lifted the saying of Zechariah 13.5. Being a husbandman goes without saying, since my Voice is that of a multitude of shepherds (evidenced in the books enclosed and my other works) as that of many thunders or many waters as the prophets describe it my role, following other philosophers far greater than I, is as a shepherd of shepherds. For your benefit, then, I should like to touch you with some more ideas behind my husbandry and the consequent reason for my goading. Perhaps by now I have pushed you past the threshold of the barn, and you would more than ever wish to shake yourself of me, as I come to you with my milk pail and stool. I know I struck you far more than most men would endure. I am gratified: you are a very patient man, and knowing that patience has its rewards, I look forward to the day when others drink of that wisdom you now hold from the grass of the field.
If you will bear with me a bit more, I would endeavour to play a bit more with the precept of the Shepherd--the one I mean whose members are written in the book. We speak of that thing which says, behold, it is I, mentioned in Isaiah 52.6. Perhaps I should quote this in the context I had laid upon you, referring to your comment of paying tailors their dues. The refrain begins with:
Isaiah 52.1 Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.
52.3 For thus saith the LORD, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money.
What I have asked you to do will not cost either you or anyone any money. Redemption, of which I have addressed to you, is free. This follows the idea when Moses was sent back to Egypt to shepherd my people out of Egypt they did not have to pay a ransom for their freedom. I work with the same precept and know that in goading you to draw out the Truth afflicting our people, a multitude of beggars can be redeemed without anyone having to pay so much as a dime to free them from their affliction. The price of redemption is hope. And I have been searching for someone with the intelligence to give them hope, to lead them forward in the confidence of Truth. Have you not heard the saying the Truth will set you free? Search history. There have been few instances where a people have suffered more because of the lack of truth than in our current affair.
The Truth, revealed in its time, brings hope to those in despair. Multitudes await the Truth, and they are now more desperate because winter is setting in. Would you, seeing a herd of cattle in the fields, leave them exposed to suffer and die in winter? A true husbandman would bring them to shelter. Knowing shepherding as I do, I count on leaders rushing to the forground and among them there is always one who will respond to the goad. Leave them in the weather for awhile and they will respond.
Of course people are a little bit more intelligent than cattle, though they differ little in personality. The effort to prod cattle along the Way is easier, however.
People get caught up in Vanity and vanity is always accompanied by greed, and rather than resembling cattle particularly regarding the American flock they tend to resemble pigs (who may think they are noble but are really quite filthy in their habits and a burden on their habitat, rooting up and destroying everything in their path). Thus, I commented in a couple of works that my shepherding has more to do with throwing pearls into a pig pen than anything else. If the cattle against whom Amos complains deserve reproach, so much more would be the complaint I have thrown concerning the piggishness of our people:
Amos 4.1 Hear this word, ye kine of Bashan, that are in the mountain of Samaria, which oppress the poor, which crush the needy, which say to their masters, bring and let us drink.
4.2 The Lord GOD hath sworn by his holiness, that, lo, the days shall come upon you, that he will take you away with hooks, and your posterity with fishhooks.
I had hope that an intelligent being (re: Validation of Truth) might see one of my pearls in the pig pen. Naturally, having labored in casting pearls into a pig pen I was overjoyed when you answered me. I salute you, for you transformed me from that of a man of heavy sorrows to a shepherd now with hope. And I responded, calling you a Watchman. Ezekiel was another Watchman:
Ezekiel 3.17 Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.
3.18 When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
3.21 Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.
14.19..if I send a pestilence into that land, and pour out my fury upon it in blood, to cut off from it man and beast:
14.20 Though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness.
This last verse follows again my position that you are justified by your works [sic. by His faith Habakkuk 2.4]:
Isaiah 1.27 Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.
Was this a lie? You are a convert of Zion and you shall be redeemed by righteousness [sic. works]. This again follows:
Isaiah 4.4 When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.
Was this a lie? How about Amos, who complained of those who turn judgment into wormwood [sic. Chernoble]?
Amos 5.7 Ye who turn judgment to wormwood, and leave off righteousness in the earth
5.11 Forasmuch therefore as your treading is upon the poor, and ye take from him burdens of wheat..
5.12 For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right.
We need to walk more with Isaiah:
Isaiah 52.6 Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak: behold, it is I.
52.7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!
52.8 Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion.
52.9 Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the LORD hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem.
52.15..the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.
The final comment is just another way of saying that he opens the eyes of the blind and the ears of the deaf [who will not see nor hear] who are usually the unruly shepherds Zechariah 11 and Jeremiah 23 were talking about.
Who said I am not a prophet. He judges between cattle and cattle:
Ezekiel 34.12 As a Shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the Cloudy and Dark Day.
34.13 And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by their rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country.
34.15 I will feed my flock and I will cause them to lie down, saith the lord GOD.
34.16 I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.
34.17 And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord GOD; behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats.
34.22 Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle.
34.23 And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.
34.24 And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it.
34.25 And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods.
34.31 And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord GOD.
Whilst I stand upon the prophets, and I know their message is clear, I feel I have done you a disservice if I have not at least pointed out that Amos too said the same as I said to you, that:
Amos 7.14 Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycamore fruit:
7.15 And the LORD took me as I followed the flock, and the LORD said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel.
I suppose I had you at a disadvantage, making use of the term, Shepherd, knowing that it is also understood to mean the same as King. The principal tool of the Shepherd, of course, is a staff with which he goads those who take the front of his herd. The word for stave in Hebrew also means Lawgiver. So I took for myself two staves, says Zechariah 11 (after he had already discussed the Two Anointed Ones [sic. Olive Branches] in chapter 4.14). We refer here to God's Two Servants, the Branches. But since the Servant of God is one with God, it follows that the Servant(s) called the Anointed Ones or Messiahs can be called simply The Branch which is The Word of God (as we have previously discussed). We speak of one Spirit of God. The Apostle Paul tried to load us down with Two Spirits (gospels) raising his gospel [sic. of Confusion see II Peter 3.16] above all others; even offending Jesus by putting him in the same league as Satan by calling Jesus, the Son of God, "who was not afraid to be equal to God". There is a large difference between the Servant of God and God. We shall walk with Philo again to explain this difference.
First of all the Servant, Messiah(s), are created by God. Philo, On the Migration of Abraham, explains this:
For to be aware that one knows nothing is the end of all knowledge*, since there is only one wise being, who is also the only God. On which account Moses very beautifully has represented the father of the universe as being also the inspector and superintendent of all that he has created, saying, "God saw all that he had made, and behold it was very good" [Gen.10.31]. For it was not possible for any one to have an accurate view of all that had been created, except for the Creator.
In my works, Of Epicureans, Stoics & other ways to find good, and The Son of Man ..a Commentary on Immanuel and the Gospel of Truth , I reveal evidence that Jesus was somewhat confused as to his early ministry, concerning in particular the matter of Elijah; furthermore he asked his disciples to participate in a deception concerning the Light of the Gentile, which, dropping a Plumbline on the matter, as it were, was an enactment of a lie. While the Creator may have been speaking and doing works through Jesus, it is doubtful, based upon the evidence, that Jesus would like his memory confused with that which created him. While a fleshy creature may carry the Wisdom of God, let us keep in mind that every Servant's access to God is based upon the measure of his understanding. Jesus was brilliant; he was a prophet and Messiah and as God, as Clement so wisely points out, but not God. This follows the idea creating the Messiah: to be another like Moses. Moses was another who was as [in God's stead] God [ Exodus 3.13-14].
Philo says in the same chapter:
But till you are able to tell what you yourselves are, do not expect ever to be looked upon as truth-telling judges or witnesses with respect to others.
Knowing thyself is the greatest challenge among men. The Brahmins urged it, Lao Tzu urged it; so did Buddha and Jesus. Now we have a real truth. Most of those who claim to know God in this day have no idea who they themselves are. So they go to psychiatrists to find out who they are and become more confused. This is what you are:
You are a child of God a child of Truth.
Is this not how men were conceived? In God's Image? For the sake of advancing the Truth? Those who join themselves with Truth though it be a little step at a time as with you must one day be joined to God (see my further comments on this in The Tapestry of One). Having dedicated myself to such a venture, I spoke of myself being in God and He in me, as Jesus also spoke. Philo best explains this idea in the same book on Abraham (referring first to celestial bodies):
United bodies reciprocally contain each other.
Thus, one united with God can say, If you see me you can see the father in me, but since you had not known the father you have not known me; I and my father are one --or words to this effect.
Surely the idea that a Shepherd of God is a Shepherd of Wisdom needs no further explanation. Philo explains that Wisdom is the Kingdom of God:
..and by the kingdom, we mean wisdom, since we call the wise man a king..
Here we linked the idea of a Shepherd to the precept of a prophet, a Watchman, and a Lawgiver. Following the model of Moses the Messiah also is a priest (see Philo on this). In addition, Philo shows us that the Jews also knew that a Wise Man (Magi) can be read as the same as a King. Thus we have the discrepancy in the gospels of Matthew and Luke, where Jesus' birth was attended by Three Wise Men (Matthew 2.1) or Three Shepherds (Luke 2.8). Luke, being conservative on the other issues, and not perhaps sure whether the Wise Kings or Magi were Shepherds or not, recorded them as Shepherds. I know he took advantage of the double entendre, a specialty of the scribes.
Wisdom as God
In his work, On the Life of Moses, Philo shows that Moses was exceptional as a receptacle of Wisdom:
But in a short time he surpassed all their knowledge, anticipating all their lessons by the excellent natural endowments of his own genius; so that everything in his case appeared to be a recollecting rather than a learning, while he himself also, without any teacher, comprehended by his instinctive genius many difficult subjects; for great abilities cut out for themselves many new roads to knowledge...The well disposed soul, going forward to meet the lessons which are imparted to it, is improved in reality by itself rather than by its teachers, and taking hold of some beginning or principle of knowledge, bounds, as the proverb has it, like a horse over the plain.
Men today do not seek this kind of knowledge; even worse, pastors seek the exact opposite of such a character exemplified by Philo [speaking of Moses], which thing is wholly loaded into the Messianic epithets. Epithets, such as those gathered under the Psalm with my initial, the open Mem, (see The Miracle of Zer Anpin for a partial explanation of the Mem; you might consult the Kaballah or talk to J. Neusner about it), pass right over most heads:
Psalm 119.97 O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.
119.98 Thou through thy commandments has made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.
119.99 I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.
119.100 I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.
119.101 I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.
119.102 I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me.
119.103 How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
119.104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.
This creature with the Tzaddi, , is:
119.137 Righteous art thou, O LORD, and upright are thy judgments.
119.138 Thy testimonies that thou has commanded are righteous and very faithful.
119.139 My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words.
119.140 Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.
119.141 I am small and despised: yet do not I forget thy precepts.
119.142 Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.
119.143 Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me: yet thy commandments are my delights.
119.144 The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live.
If you were to consult the Kabbalah you would find a design called the Divine Labyrinth, inside of which are these two letters. And these are the Two Letters which identify the Messiah, say the rabbis.
The open Mem has a special identity, because of the Wisdom placed in it, for it is as the waters which cover the sea (the Mem began as the sign for water, as shown in the Egyptian Hieroglyphs and early alphabetic (Siniatic) scripts. Remember the scripture?: I placed one hand in the sea and the other in the rivers..
When Job was writing his work, describing the chief of the ways of God as Behemoth, and the Messiah as a Unicorn, he wrote with Hebrew characters. No doubt the first place Job saw the figure of the Unicorn was in the character called the open Mem. How odd any scribe must have felt, using this character knowing it was the sign for water when it resembled more the pictogram of an ox (and a one horned ox at that). Unlike an ox, this new beast before the eyes of the scribe was put high atop the mountains (earlier described as the prophets of Israel). The sign I have been using is with all this in mind, as reflected in part in The Miracle of Zer Anpin.
Philo, On the life of Moses, says:
..how completely good and excellent he was, and testifying that what is good is the only that which deserves to be loved, and that it does not require any external recommendation, but bears in itself proofs by which it may be known and understood.
The training of a shepherd qualifies one to be a leader of people, says Philo:
And after his marriage, Moses took his father-in-law's herds and tended them, being thus instructed in the lessons proper to qualify him for becoming the leader of a people, for the business of a shepherd is a preparation for the office of a king to any one who is destined to preside over that most manageable of all flocks, mankind..
..and the care and management of tame animals is a royal training for the government of subjects; for which reason kings are called shepherds of their people, not by way of reproach, but as a most especial and pre-eminent honor.
And it appears to me, who have examined the matter not with any reference to the opinions of the many, but solely with regard to truth (and he may laugh who pleases), that that man alone can be a perfect king who is well skilled in the art of the shepherd, being thus instructed as to more important matters by experience of the inferior animals; for it is impossible for great things to be brought to perfection before small ones.
Therefore, Moses, having become the most skilful herdsman of his time...incurred the envy of the other herdsmen...
With these precepts in mind, Zechariah could not help but place the epithet [sic. member], "I am not a prophet but..a husbandman," on the Messiah. For the prophets created another Moses according to these instructions and heaped David's Tzaddi [sic. I am a worm and no man ] upon him to complete something which would be the exact opposite of that which men seek. And this follows a precept the scribes always had in mind, as revealed again in Philo's commentary on Moses:
But this man proceeded by the path which was the exact opposite of that which was the probable one for him to take, following the healthy impulses of his soul, and not allowing any one of them to be impeded in its progress..looking upon justice as an irresistible power, by which he was encouraged so as to go spontaneously to the assistance of the weaker side.
The prophets created in the Light of the Gentile a creature who, being previously programmed, would be awakened by the scriptures:
Psalm 119.92 Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction.
119.93 I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me.
The rabbis called the Messiah the Afflicted One or the Fallen One (see The Miracle of Zer Anpin). John, in Revelation, noted of his thigh which had the words, Faithful and True, written on it, following the scriptures. Recalling again the story of the Grail, seeing that the heroes of Camelot were Jews by race through Joseph of Arimathaea, and of the noblest lineage known to man, which is that of David; we find two curious features added to the Messiah: Firstly, he carries a sword which has an inscription testifying of his devotion to Truth; secondly, as with naive Parzival, he asks the reigning Grail King (son of David) how he was wounded in the thigh (all of the Grail Kings were wounded in the thigh) to enter his throne. Parzival did not enter the presence of the Grail (throne) until he after much prompting asked the right question, how the Grail King had gotten his wounds. Finally he got the answer: I was wounded whilst defending the Word of God. This relates to the Teth:
Psalm 119.71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.
I return again to the Afflicted Soul. Remember Isaiah 58?:
Isaiah 58.6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
58.7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? When thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
58.8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward.
58.9 Then shalt thou call and the LORD shall answer...
58.10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day:
My work is no doubt loaded with scripture--prophesy--but unlike Amos and the others I was not told to prophesy. I just did it following the precepts already laid in my path.
I must close now, recalling that Amos too, said he was not a prophet, noted above.
I too was quickened by the precepts of the LORD, and, having been awakened as such, I, like Moses, spontaneously went to the assistance of the weaker side. I too had become an afflicted soul; so take it on good account, if you satisfy the afflicted soul before you, you will be glad you did.
Finally, there is much merit in the virtue of a herdsman which I hope to show you if you can bear with me. I leave you with a quote from Homer, who further verifies my position:
The Mysian close-fighting bands,
And dwellers on the Scythian lands,
Content to seek their humble fare
From milk of cow and milk of mare,
The Justest of mankind
How can you resist capitulating to our argument?
Believe Aristotle then! In The Constitution of Athens even he adds to our reproach!:
V.3 ..and Solon himself makes it clear in the following poem, where he advises the rich not to be greedy:
Restrain in your breasts your mighty hearts; you have taken too much of the good things of life; satisfy your pride with what is moderate, for we shall not tolerate excess, nor will everything turn out as you wish.
He always attaches the over-all blame for the strife to the rich; this is why he says at the opening of the poem that
he is afraid of their 'avarice and overbearing pride,' since this was the cause of the conflict.
I know I can speak for Jesus, all of the prophets, and the sages of The Tapestry of One : we are not against anyone in particular but only look forward to the day when the high and the mighty are hewn down just enough to relieve them of some of their avarice and overbearing pride.
Moreover, let the governors cease to oppress their cities with continual and excessive taxes and tributes, filling their own stores with money, and in preserving as a treasure the illiberal vices which defile their whole lives; for they do, on purpose, select as collectors of their revenues the most pitiless of men, persons full of all kinds of inhumanity, giving them abundant opportunity for the exercise of their covetousness; receiving free license from the commands of their masters, and having determined to do everything so as to please them, practise all the harshest measures which they can imagine, having no notion of gentleness or humanity, not even in their dreams; therefore they throw everything into disorder and confusion, levying their exactions, not only on the possessions of the citizens, but also on their persons, with insults and violence, and the invention of new and unprecedented torture..
Mel's voice? It is. But this time it is not from the scriptures, nor Thomas Paine, but again from Philo, On the Ten Festivals .
I give you my salutation and assurance that there is a blessing in bringing forth the Truth. I give you my pledge of support: Hear then Moses: Come thou, I say, O LORD of the whole world, and that as such a Judge and a Witness to me as cannot be bribed, and show how I have never admitted of any gift against justice, and have never condemned a poor man that ought to have been acquitted, on account of one that was rich; and have never attempted to hurt any commonwealth.
I extracted these words from Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book IV, Chapter II. Like Moses, I have no ulterior motives but to defend the poor, as every good shepherd must do. We could use some help.
Lacking an expedient resolution of this affair, should you be talking to Mr. Reagan and Mr. Bush it might be worthwhile to warn them that two cells are reserved in Hades for them, downwind from the stink- pot of Nero. Nero objected to their presence upwind of him, as he only set fire to a city; Reagan and Bush set fire to a nation. But there is yet one now before us who, walking in their steps, is setting fire to the world. We noted the tinder already setting in the streets, awaiting a spark. These three monsters have a thousand years of infamy awaiting them.
This democracy should collapse. To save it requires some rather creative and righteous leadership. Because of the time of year, I suppose, I am reminded of a tune of Three Wise Men who shouldered a gift to the world. I work in that spirit. Is this nation so depraved that you cannot muster around you such a troop?
Appreciative always to hear from you, and wishing you a very Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year, and a blessing to you and all of your family--and still trusting that my somewhat heavy works are not weighing you down, but lifting,--I remain,
Mr. Buckley's answer to our fifteenth appeal
December 28, 1993
You tax me with refusing to perform any works at all, when I have declined some that I thought unwise or simply not my particular job; and you ascribe my refusal to a sort of ultra-Lutheran reliance on faith alone. Unfair! Any Christian's works must proceed from redemption: they are a necessary consequence of it, not an optional one. Catholics go further, to a communion of works, in which the merits of Christ make it possible for men's works to participate in His redemptive action.
The Church also specifies that before Christ's coming faithful Jews who kept the Commandments and looked for the Messiah were saved. Two of the reasons Catholics like Maccabees and hardly any other Christians do, by the way: the Lord sanctifies works like the reconsecration of the Temple with miracles like the lights; and it's a virtuous work to pray for the dead.
Wm. F. Buckley Jr.
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